Sport and Physical Activity in Human History: A "Persistent Problems" Analysis
This is a history of the "persistent" social forces and professional problems of sport and physical activity. It is intended for two different audiences: First, it should be interesting and helpful to those involved in the profession of sport and physical education and to scholars the subdisciplinary aspects of sport and physical activity education history. Second, it is offered to the general public (i.e., the trade market) because the topic is ultimately of great importance to the world.
Fundamentally, the author wants to draw further attention to the conclusion of Dr. Robert G. Osterhoudt in Sport as a form of human fulfillment: An organic philosophy of sport history (Trafford, 2006): "Sport as an ever-developing social force is typically not bringing about the type of human fulfillment worldwide that it could or should!"
In this book by Dr. Zeigler, the persistent (recurring) problems of what has become such an important life activity (i.e., sport and related physical activity) are presented and discussed individually as both the social forces and professional problems they engender. In this way people can fully comprehend the scope of each such "problem" throughout human history.
This approach is different than in the usual "longitudinal" history of a subject in which the reader finds a historical narrative of some aspect of the topic chronologically with relatively little effort at interpretation (e.g., The Lou Gehrig Story).
With this "horizontal" analytic approach, the author discusses: (1) the selected social forces (e.g., the influence of economics on sport); and (2) the selected professional concerns (e.g., the role of management on sport) in a broad socio-cultural, historical perspective.
This historical technique is similar to that followed in the well-known Megatrends volumes where societal issues that appeared more regularly in the literature were carefully grouped over a period of years.
The author believes that the persistent (recurring) problems of sport and related physical activity should each be discussed and understood as the social force and professional problem it engenders. In this way people may come to fully comprehend the scope and impact of each "persistent problem" throughout human history.
Dr. Zeigler believes that the interested reader will find this approach to be ultimately more insightful and interpretive in humankind's search to understand sport and physical activity's impact on society more deeply.
Looking to the future, the question is: "Does competitive sport-as it is developing currently- truly contribute to 'the good life'?" Dr. Zeigler's conclusion is: No, it does not. Radical change is needed!
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One Approach to Understanding the Social Structure
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